If you are ready to carry concealed, you need a great holster that protects your firearm and keeps it secure against your body. Depending on your wardrobe, your daily levels of activity and human contact, and the size of your firearm, you may wonder if you should choose an inside-the-waistband (IWB) holster or an outside-the-waistband (OWB) holster.
While both these holster styles can be used for concealed carry, you can generally hide an IWB holster more efficiently, no matter how long or tight your shirt and pants may be. Here are some of the reasons why gun owners worldwide choose IWB holsters for their daily concealed carry needs.
Critical Points of IWB Holsters
Regardless of your personal preference of wearing your concealed firearm outside or inside your waistband, there are a few things your holsters are required to do.
The type of IWB holster you choose should be the most comfortable one. It should fit snugly against your body, whether inside or outside your clothing, protect the trigger guard, and never let your firearm shift around while moving.
Both types of holsters should have retention devices to ensure your gun stays put in the holster, and some emit an audible click when you holster your weapon. A gun holster aims to protect the trigger guard, securely retain the firearm, and conceal the gun within your waistband.
The best holsters can adapt to your carrying position, whether you prefer a cross-draw, appendix, or small of the back position. There is also a variety of materials used to make holsters. While leather is the most traditional material and attractive, Kydex retains its shape for longer and provides just the right balance of stability.
1. Deeper Concealment than OWB holsters
The primary benefit of wearing an IWB instead of an OWB holster is that it provides better concealment of your firearm.
OWB holsters clip onto the waistband or slide onto a gun belt, hanging outside of your pants. Often, when a potentially dangerous situation arises, if a criminal notices an observer that is carrying, they might think twice. Although this kind of holster can be an effective crime repellent, it might also heighten tensions in an already stressful situation.
IWB holsters provide the subtlety you want when you’re assessing the safety of a situation. Situational awareness is a state in which you are hyper-vigilant about your surroundings and any potential threats.
To stay on top of a situation that may spiral out of control at any moment, it is sometimes best to keep your weapon concealed until you’re sure of the action you must take.
2. You Can Wear Light Clothing
Inside of the waistband holsters are adaptable when it comes to clothing in a way that outside the waistband holsters are not. Since inside the waistband holsters are tucked into your waistband, you can wear anything you’d like without revealing that you’re currently carrying a weapon.
Outside the waistband holsters are bulky accessories that fit on the outside of your waistband. To get your gun positioned close to your torso, you have to tighten your waistband or gun belt and adjust its grip angle.
IWB holsters, on the other hand, are designed so they hug the natural contours of your body without a lot of adjustment.
3. You Don’t Need a Belt
Some holsters that you wear inside your waistband don’t even need a belt. Many IWB holsters attach via clips on the top hem of your pants, so you don’t need a belt or belt loops to secure your firearm.
When you’re looking into the different types of IWB holsters, think about your common wardrobe choices. Holsters are designed to be worn with everyday clothing. Some have two clips made of hard plastic, and some just have one clip, which may contribute to gun sag if your gun is too heavy.
A gun belt can help as it takes most of the firearm’s weight and distributes it evenly, but it’s not always necessary.
4. You Don’t Need to Tuck In Your Shirt
To effectively use an OWB holster, you need to tuck in your shirt to have easy access to the gun’s grip. If you have the tails of your shirt positioned over the gun grip, it’s hard to get to your firearm in moments of high tension, which could be a fatal mistake.
With a holster that’s tucked inside your waistband, you can wear an untucked shirt over it. This is ideal in hot weather. A jacket or vest is a perfect way to keep your weapon concealed when the weather tolerates layering, but when the mercury soars, donning a massive piece of outerwear is uncomfortable and downright suspicious.
An IWB holster keeps your firearm snug against your skin, and in warmer weather, you can use a loose, untucked shirt to conceal it.
5. IWB Holsters Don’t Get In the Way
If you carry concealed, you probably have your firearm on your person for most of your waking hours. Consider what you do during those hours to make sure you’re picking the right holster for your lifestyle.
If you have an occupation that requires a lot of physical activity, like construction or electrician work, you need a holster with iron-clad retention abilities, so you never have to worry about your gun slipping out of its holster.
Another consideration is if you work in a business where you come into close physical contact with many people during your workdays, like a caregiver or emergency medical tech. In these cases, look for a holster made of a resilient, stiff material so your gun doesn’t react to any outside pressure.
Some may say that wearing a holstered weapon is uncomfortable, although longtime concealed-carry gun enthusiasts note that you become accustomed to the weight on your hip or back. These gun owners soon find that it is worrisome when they don’t feel the security of a handgun tucked into their waistband.
The Final Word
If you’re in the market for a holster that you wear inside your waistband, consider your daily wardrobe, activity and contact levels, and the type of gun you want to conceal. IWB holsters are great for deep concealment but can take some getting used to when you first start to wear them.
At We the People Holsters, we know guns, and we know holsters. We offer 500+ holster, so we have the right holster for you gun. All of our holster are 100% made in America, we’re confident you’ll find what you’re looking for in our wide array of customizable holster styles.